Brendan is the principal consultant at My Bespoke Recruiter and is passionate about assisting people with disabilities find employment. 

People with disabilities can often be excluded when business owners consider workforce options, policies, procedures, team meetings, and work social events. I and many other entrepreneurs with disabilities work from home for this very reason.

Undoubtedly, working from home is something that many able-bodied employees have experienced for the first time during COVID-19. (We can now all fully appreciate how isolating it actually is.) Well, this is the norm for people with disabilities.

So, what’s stopping us from hiring more people with disability? People with disability have been doing this WFH thing for years, and we’ve demonstrated how productively we can do it.

The sobering statistics

Look at the statistics: Australia ranks 21st out of 28 countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) membership of countries for the employment of people with disabilities. 21st out of 28!

But the statistic that strikes me hardest: only 53% of people living with disabilities, who are of working age, are employed. 53%!

Now that we are all experiencing isolation and testing our ability to work from home, what’s stopping us from engaging people with disabilities in our workforce?

What’s stopping us?

Did you know that a more diverse team leads to better service and product design outcomes?

Did you know that people with disabilities are often highly qualified, on average stay with employers for longer, and have less sick days and less work related injuries?

According to the World Economic Forum, people engaged in the workforce with a disability have greater economic independence, choice and control over their lives and actively contribute to the economy in many other ways.

See COVID-19’s isolated world is the norm for people with disabilities.

So, while we are all working from home, let’s reflect on the facts and consult with members of our community on how to utilise the skills and knowledge of people with disabilities in our business models.

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